An identity card belonging to the Deputy Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State, Zakariya Ya’u Idris, is now a subject of controversy.
The police authorities said they had commenced investigation into the matter.
While the Irigwe Development Association alleged that the document was recovered at a scene where some persons were recently killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen, MACBAN said the ID card was stolen by Irigwe youth who attacked the house of Idris while he was worshiping in the mosque.
The President of IDA and former member, Plateau State House of Assembly, Sunday Abdu, said, “The identity card was seen at the scene of an attack where people were killed.
“The issue of identity cards is a small matter. We also recovered telephone handsets.
“We have reported the matter to the Police and the items have been taken for investigation.
But when contacted, the Chairman of MACBAN in Plateau State, Muhammad Nuru Abdullahi, insisted that the ID was stolen along with other personal documents.
He said, “The owner of the ID card is the deputy chairman of MACBAN in Bassa LGA. He was chased out of his own house.
“He left this document inside his own house, and they entered and picked it and then went away with it. The man was running for his life.
“The incident happened on Wednesday morning. You know they were attacked very early in the morning before 6:00am. He was in the mosque when they were attacked and he was unable to come back to his house.
“That was how they picked the documents, including the school certificates of his children, indigene’s certificates of his wife and children, his (MACBAN) identity card, vehicle documents and other personal items.
“He has reported to the Police and the report has been documented.”
When contacted to find out whether any report was lodged by either parties, the spokesperson of Plateau State Police Command, ASP Matthias Tyopev said, “It is a sensitive matter; no comment for now, until after diligent investigation.”
However, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, yesterday, said the arbitrary arrest and persecution of its members by the police and the Takum Council Chairman, Hon. Shiban Tikari, was inimical to peace.
The Northeast Zonal Chairman of the Association, Alhaji Mafindi Danburam, stated this at a press conference in Jalingo.
According to him, some Miyetti Allah members had on Wednesday, March 14, went to Bantaje Cattle Market to sell their cows and while on their way back, 52 of them were arbitrarily arrested by the police under the instruction of Takum Council Chairman, Hon. Shiban Tikari, and were later transferred to the state police command in Jalingo.
“We have visited the command and demanded for reasons for their arrest, charges against them and the complainant statement which have not being made available to us,” he said.
The zonal chairman called on the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to intervene in the matter.
“We are really in the hands of elements of destruction who believe that a Fulani man has no right to live and enjoy his right as a citizen in Taraba State.
“Takum is now a no-go area for us. Our people are being killed, their animals maimed but nobody has been arrested for these crimes”, he said.
But when contacted, Taraba State Commissioner of Police, Mr. David Akinremi said 54 persons were arrested following information the police received that there was a mass movement of people suspected to be the perpetrators of some violent attacks at Bawe, Panshen, Muji 1 and Muji 2 villages in Takum.
He explained that his men acting on intelligence intercepted four vehicles loaded with herdsmen, adding that some natives alleged that the suspects had positioned themselves to launch an attack in the area.
Akinremi said he ordered his men to bring the suspects to the state command in Jalingo for interrogation to determine their innocence on the allegation.
The commissioner said even though nothing incriminating was found on the suspects, the police had already conveyed 41 of them to Kashimbilla who claimed to have cows domiciled in the area for further investigation.
“About 41 of the suspects claimed they have cows at Kashimbilla. So, we need to verify if there is any evidence that they took cows to Bantaje for sale. We may probably find out from the native and middlemen if they had performed any transaction with them.
“Five of the suspects confessed to be cattle rustlers, while six were believed to be among the perpetrators of the violent attacks in Takum and its environs in recent times,” he said.
On his part, the Chairman Takum, Hon. Shiban Tikari told journalists that as a council chairman, he was duty bound to report suspected criminals to the security operatives for necessary action.
Takari said the number of herdsmen spotted, coupled with the fact that they were not grazing cows, raised suspicion because herdsmen normally troop into the area with their cattle on their way to Kashimbilla around November and December not in March, more so that we are currently being attacked by herdsmen.
“The recent attacks on Panshen, Bawe, Muji 1 and 2 villages, and the information at our disposal that marauders were planning more attacks in Mudi, Tati and Manya made us to be security conscious. So, there my alarm was in order. We must as leaders make efforts to promote peace and not give criminals room to operate,” he said.
It could be recalled that the recent crisis between Fulani and natives in Takum and Ussa LGAs as well as Yanghtu Special Development area killed seven people while property worth millions of naira were destroyed.
Meanwhile, troops of 707 Special Forces Brigade have arrested 6 herdsmen, caught in the act of farmland destruction in Kwata, Benue State.
This is contained in a statement, yesterday, by the Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Texas Chukwu.
It explained that troops on patrol in the general area of Kwata Sule on Saturday, March 17, encountered the herdsmen.
After initial interrogation, the suspects were handed over to the police for further action.
Also, troops on patrol in the general area of Chembe, Tse-Gundu, Tse-Iordye and Shaor settlements sighted two herdsmen on a motorcycle along Kwata Shaor river bank.
“Herdsmen abandoned their motorcycle and fled. In search of the general area, one round of 7.62mm special was discovered.
“Troops continue to dominate the general area with patrols,” the statement concluded.
Similarly, the Nigerian Army said its troops have killed four armed militiamen in Ningi Local Government Council of Bauchi State.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Texas Chukwu, in a statement issued, yesterday, said that nine militiamen were also arrested.
Chukwu said that troops of 33 Artillery Brigade of Operation “Lafiya Dole”, on patrol on March 17, were attacked by the militia group at Burra Junction in Ningi.
He stated that the militiamen fired at the troops on patrol.
Ckukwu added that the troops, thereafter, engaged the militias, killing four of them.
He explained that the troops also recovered five Dane guns, 38 motorcycles, and nine bicycles.
The army spokesman said that one soldier was wounded in the attack and referred to a medical facility for treatment.
“Troops of 33 Artillery Brigade, in the ongoing operation Lafia Dole, on March 17 at about 12:30 p.m. encountered members of a militia group, massing up at Burra Junction in Ningi Local Government Area of Bauchi State.
“The militiamen on sighting the troops, opened fire on them while the troops reacted immediately by engaging them.
“At the end of the encounter, four militias were killed, troops recovered five Dane guns; 38 motorcycles, nine bicycles, and nine militiamen arrested.
“One soldier, who sustained gunshot wounds is stable, having been evacuated to the hospital and receiving treatment,’’ Chukwu said.
In the same vein, the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has ordered the arrest of the suspected herdsmen responsible for the death of two adults and a minor in Ugboha, Esan South East Local Local Government Council of Edo State, at the weekend.
Recall that at least five persons, including a first year student of the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo S tate, Collins Ojierakhi, were reportedly killed by herdsmen in Ugboha, Esan South-East Local and Odiguete Ovia North-East Local Government Areas of Edo State.
He condemned the unwarranted killings by the bandits under the guise of herdsmen, in contravention of government’s directive that cattle should not move in Edo State at night.
Speaking, yesterday, the governor ordered that the culprits must be apprehended within seven days.
He directed the committee made up of the police, officials of the Department of State Services (DSS) and other security agencies to work with members of all associations of cattle dealers and people who have information regarding the activities of the bandits to fish them out within the stipulated period.
Obaseki condoled with families of the victims and pledged his administration’s commitment to the safety and security of all Edo people and residents in the state as well as their property.
He enjoined members of the affected communities to keep the peace, assuring them that the culprits will be apprehended and that justice will be served.
Catholic Bishops Vow To Work For Credible Polls In 2023
Bishops of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja have pledged to work with relevant stakeholders to ensure free, credible and transparent general elections in 2023.
The commitment is contained in a communiqué jointly signed by Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, the Archbishop of Abuja and Very Rev. Fr. Sam Tumba, after the 3rd General assembly of the Archdiocese.
In the communique issued on Saturday in Abuja, the bishops enjoined Parishes, families, Church societies and groups to dedicate special moments to pray for a hitch-free election.
“We call on Catholics and indeed all Nigerian citizens to be consciously and actively involved in the electoral processes at all levels.
“Voter registration, collection of Permanent Voters Card, casting votes on election days with a firm and clear conscience to elect credible leaders who will bring about the true dividends of democracy”, they said.
The bishops commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the Electoral Act into law to enhance the sanctity of the electoral process.
“We task the Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure political fairness and transparency, to consolidate the trust reposed in them by Nigerians.
“Parishes and Catholic institutions within our Archdiocese are encouraged to arrange and organize voter awareness programmes, seminars and workshops guided by the Justice, Development and Peace Commission, to better equip our people for greater political responsibility.
“We remain open and willing to collaborate with relevant government agencies, electoral bodies and security operatives to ensure peaceful and credible election processes in the coming year,” the communique added.
The bishops cautioned politicians not to regard the election as a ‘do or die’ affair, adding that they must also refrain from money politics, manipulative and divisive practices along ethnic, social and religious lines to win elections.
“Even though we decry the hard economic situations in the nation, we strongly discourage all Catholics and especially our youths from lending themselves as easy recruits for political thuggery and other criminal activities to enthrone selfish and incompetent aspirants into electoral offices.
“We discourage and condemn any form of vote buying or selling and other electoral malpractices during the elections,” the bishops said.
The bishops advised catholic politicians from all political parties within the Archdiocese to participate in Church activities, so as to be better known by the faithful.
They called on all people of goodwill to cooperate with security agencies to root out criminal elements within communities.
The bishops, however, urged security agents to remain professional in discharging their duties and resist any attempt to be used to intimidate the people by corrupt politicians.
The communique called on Catholics across the country to match work with prayer, for peaceful electioneering process.
They called for sustained prayers for the country, adding: “Nigerians should take courage and be of ardent hope, for the storms will soon be over.”
Take 2023 Elections Seriously, Wike Tasks Rivers People
The Rivers State Chief Executive, Chief Nyesom Wike, has urged Nigerians to take the upcoming 2023 General Election seriously by securing their Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) and using it wisely and prayerfully.
Wike stated this during the Inter-Denominational Church Service in commemoration of the 62nd Independence Day Anniversary of Nigeria, at St. Paul’s Cathedral Church, Diobu in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Represented by his Deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, the governor said he believes God would use the 2023 elections to grant the pleas of Nigerians for a rebirth of a new nation.
“Nigeria must rise again, it must fulfil its divine purpose for which God has put it together, Nigeria has a prophetic agenda, whether the devil likes it or not. We must have the confidence that our votes will count and that we will use our votes to bring in the leaders after the heart of God”, the governor said.
Wike said under his watch, the state government has been resolute and consistent in providing the dividends of democracy to the people living and doing business in the state.
“We have seen it, in the massive improvement in security.We have seen it in social and physical infrastructure.What will you say, when public tertiary institutions have been on strike for the past seven months, and some of the students are being killed, some are roaming about, some are going into crime, while others are abusing drugs and going mental, but in Rivers State, all the state institutions are functioning none-stop, and salaries are paid as at when due and lecturers are teaching the way they should”, Wike further stressed.
The state chief executive expressed gratitude to the Almighty God for the 62nd Independence anniversary of the country and for keeping the nation as one in spite of all the security and economic challenges, adding that “God in His infinite mercy has kept us together as a people, what seems impossible with men, is possible with God”.
In his sermon drawn from Matthew Chapter 7: 7-12, Bishop Diocese of Niger Delta North,St. Paul’s Cathedral Church, Diobu, Port Harcourt, Rt. Rev. Wisdom Ihunwo, said “if Nigeria must go forward, we must obey the golden rule”.
He said,”We must not give up on Nigeria; no matter the challenges, God would make the nation great again, but it behooves on us to pray and do the right things at all times”.
A schedule of activities released by the state government shows that on Friday, September 30, 2022, a Jumma’at Prayer would be held at the JIBWIS Directorate Headquarters, Central Mosque, 36 Bonny Street, Port Harcourt Township, at 1:00pm.
According to the programme, signed by the Permanent Secretary, Special Services Bureau, Office of the Secretary to the State Government, Sir George Nwaeke, the grand finale would hold on Saturday, October 1, 2022, with a parade ceremony/march-past at Sharks Football Stadium, Port Harcourt by 10:00am.
The statement said that the state Governor, Chief NyesomWike, would preside over the activities at the grand finale on Saturday.
Buhari Launches INFF In New York
President Muhammadu Buhari has restated the commitment of his administration to the achievement of inclusive, broad-based and sustainable development.
The President spoke while delivering his keynote address at strategic High Level Event held on the sidelines of the 77th session of United Nations General Assembly in New York to launch Nigeria’s Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) for Sustainable Development.
The President noted that Nigeria adopted the INFF as a tool to improve the financing of SDGs without increasing public debt and contingent liabilities to levels that will be detrimental to economic sustainability.
He commended the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning; the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals; and the United Nation Development Programme for working together to develop Nigeria’s INFF in a process which started in 2020.
“Today’s event marks the end of a long process which began in 2020, when the Steering Committee and the Core Working Group on Nigeria’s Integrated National Financing Framework were inaugurated.
“The Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) has been developed to map out a much-needed sustainable financing plan for Nigeria to deliver on our commitment to the SDGs and our National Development aspirations,” the President said.
He further noted that as part of its commitment to sustainable and inclusive development, his administration aligned its 2017-2020 Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP); the 2020 Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP); the 2021 National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy (NPRGS); and the 2021-2025 National Development Plan (NDP) with the SDGs.
“It is in line with this commitment and with a focus on the National Development Plan (2021-2025) that, the Federal Government of Nigeria, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has adopted the INFF as a tool to improve SDGs financing without increasing public debt and contingent liabilities to levels that will be detrimental to economic sustainability.
“The INFF is backed by Nigeria’s Medium-Term Revenue Strategy and the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework. As Nigeria champions the INFF process, we hope to promote the strategic alignment of financial policies with sustainable development and provide the enabling conditions for domestic and international, public, and private financial actors to best respond to our national needs.
“I urge all Nigerians, the international community, and our development partners to recognize the importance of this integrated approach to financing development, as you continue to count on my leadership in its immediate implementation,” the President said.
Speaking earlier, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs,Princess AdejokeOrelope-Adefulire, described the launch of the INFF report as a significant milestone in the commitment and efforts to achieve the SDGs in Nigeria.
She noted that the INFF is in line with Nigeria’s strategic approach to the implementation of the SDGs working at the National and Sub-national levels.
“At the National level, we work closely with the Federal Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to integrate the SDGs into their sectorial policies and plans. At the Sub-national level, we are working closely with the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to mainstream the SDGs into their medium and long-term development policies and plans”.
She noted that her office, with the support of UNDP, has supported 16 states to develop SDG-Based Development Plans as part of Nigeria’s Mainstreaming, Acceleration and Policy Support (MAPS) for the agenda.
The INFF report, she added, was also another feat recorded by the country in the bid to institutionalize the SDGs, noting Nigeria was the first country in the Global South to have successfully completed a country-led Independent Evaluation of SDG-3 on ‘quality health and well-being for all’ and SDG-4 on ‘qualitative and inclusive education and lifelong learning for all’.
The two reports, she said, were officially launched on the 25th of August, 2022.
The presidential adviser noted that on the 21st of December, 2021, Nigeria became the first African country to successfully realigned its National Statistical System with the requirements and indicators of the SDGs, hence the country will be now be able to track progress on the 230 Key Performance Indicators of the agenda on annual basis through the National Bureau of Statistics.
Orelope-Adefulire further noted that in 2019, Nigeria successfully domesticated the Integrated Sustainable Development Goals Simulation Model (iSDG Model) as a home-grown analytical tool for evidence-based SDGs policymaking and planning with the report launched on the margins of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly by the President.
“The Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) Report we are about to launch today is a product of series of efforts led by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs; and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
“Nigeria is now among the INFF Pilot Countries that have made significant progress by completing the design process. Indeed, this is an expression of Nigeria’s commitment to the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
She expressed appreciation and profound gratitude to the President for accepting to launch the report as well as all the Institutional Members of the National Steering Committee and the Core Working Group on Nigeria’s INFF for the commitment demonstrated during the design phase.
“We look forward to similar commitment during the implementation phase,” Orelope –Adefulire said while affirming the commitment of her office to continue to drive the process of achieving the SDGs in Nigeria.
“I would like to conclude by re-affirming Nigeria’s commitment to the successful implementation of the SDGs. We look forward to working more closely with you all in this ‘Decade of Action’ for the Global Goals, so that no ‘One is left behind’.”
In his remark, Head/Sustainable Development, Minister Counsellor, Delegation of the European Union (EU) to the UN, Axel Maisonneuve, said EU had also support the mobilisation of capital for an inclusive and sustainable transition, which is at the heart of an INFF, in several ways.
“For instance, we know that whilst public finance of course has a key role to play, it will not be sufficient to bridge the SDG financing gap, and private finance needs to be mobilised as well.
“In the EU, we believe in fact that sustainable finance is critical to enable private financial flows being channelled towards sustainable investments.
“The EU’s Green Deal and the Global Gateway strategies are some of the key examples of the EU efforts in this direction. Indeed, sustainable finance is part and parcel of an INFF,’’ he said.
According to him, private finance is very much part of Nigeria’s Integrated National Financing Framework.
Maisonneuve said the INFF was designed to help the Nigerian government explore innovative financing options linking government with private sector and development partners to increase public revenue and private investments.
“Let me take this opportunity to praise Nigeria for the efforts undertaken toward the achievement of the 2030 agenda and the SDGs and for the key milestone that you have achieved.
“In September 2019, 16 countries committed to pioneer the development and implementation of INFFs, and Nigeria was among them.
“Now, Nigeria has successfully designed its INFF Strategy, and is offering a leading example for INFF progress toward a more systematic, holistic approach to achieve sustainable development objectives,’’ he said.
Goodwill messages were delivered by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Amina J. Mohammed, and development partners.
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